By Steven Scharf
On February 18, 1991, I finally got to see The Replacements live. Ever since reading a review of Let It Be by Robert Christgau in the Village Voice in 1984, I was infatuated with this band of misfits from Minneapolis. Let’s just say, they were my favourite thing.
The show took place at Barrymore’s Music Hall, one of the best venues for live music that this city has ever offered. It seemed like every band touring the Montreal-Toronto corridor ended up playing there. Think the Cramps, Iggy Pop, Social Distortion, the Pogues, Teenage Head, Dead Milkmen, to name a few. Gord Rhodes, who I believe ran the club from 1978 to 1991, really put this spot on the map.
Barrymore’s was as packed and as hot as I had ever seen it. While waiting for the openers to start their set, The ‘Mats bass player Tommy Stinson could be seen walking around the club with what looked like a martini in hand, perfectly complementing his white smoker’s jacket. The Goo Goo Dolls came on and played a really great set to further heat up the place.
Touring to promote their album All Shook Down, the crowd erupted when The Replacements came on. Starting off with the 1-2 punch of “I Don’t Know” and “I Will Dare”, throwing in a couple of covers (Eddie Cochran and Johnny Cash) and ending the night in perfect style with “Left of the Dial” and “Alex Chilton,” I remember the place being one happy, fist-pumping sing along.
Heading out into the February cold, the fanboy in me was grinning from ear to ear. Truly one of the best shows I have ever witnessed.
Here’s the set list:
“I Don’t Know,” “I Will Dare,” “Achin’ To Be,” “Waitress In The Sky,” “Skyway,” “When It Began,” “Nightclub Jitters,” “Someone Take The Wheel,” “Cut Across Shorty” (Eddie Cochran), “She’s A Goer” (Johnny Cash), “Kiss Me On The Bus,” “Talent Show,” “Asking Me Lies,” “Nobody,” “Color Me Impressed,” “Can’t Hardly Wait,” “I’ll Be You,” “Bastards Of Young,” “Within Your Reach,” “Little Mascara,” “Left Of The Dial,” & “Alex Chilton.”